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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Markets flat ahead of Trump speech
  3. Boris Johnson upbeat on future trade
  4. 5G features at Mobile World Congress
  5. India's economy grows at 7%

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Good night

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BBC

That's it for another day on Business Live.

We look forward to you joining us again tomorrow from 6.00am onwards.

US stocks end winning streak

The Dow Jones industrial average ended a run of winners on Tuesday when it closed down 25.02 points at 20,812.24.

The US stock index had closed at a record high over 12 successive days. However, that stopped on Tuesday as traders anxiously waited for US President Donald Trump to give his first address to Congress.

It is hoped that he will flesh out his proposals on tax reform and infrastructure investment. 

The Nasdaq close down 36.46 points at 20,812.24 and the S&P 500 fell 6.11 points at 2,363.64.

Millennials reject traditional TV viewing

Susan Wojcicki
Getty Images

The chief executive of YouTube, which is owned by Google, said that people are not watching television in traditional way any more.

Announcing plans to launch YouTube TV, Susan Wojcicki said: "There's no question that millennials love great TV content, but what we've seen is they don't want to watch it in the traditional setting." 

YouTube TV to take on cable channels

YouTube
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YouTube is launching its own streaming service which will allow customers to access 40 networks including broadcast channels and some cable channels.

It will cost $35 a month and will launch in a few months.

GM boss cautious over border tax plans

Mary Barra and Donald Trump
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Mary Barra, chair and chief executive of General Motors, is in favour of corporate tax reform - as promised by Donald Trump - but says changes to border taxes need to done carefully.

She said: "If not done very thoughtfully it could be problematic," she said, saying tax reform needs to avoid "unintended consequences."

The planned border adjustment tax would impose a 20% tax on imported goods while providing write-offs for goods that are exported.

Chancellor to speed up PI payment consultation

Crash test dummy
Getty Images

The Chancellor has met with representatives of the insurance industry following an outcry over  plans to change the way compensation is calculated  for people with long-term injuries.

Philip Hammond held talks with Huw Evans, director general of the Association of British Insurers as well as the chief executives of Aviva, Direct Line, Admiral and RSA among others.

In a joint statement, Mr Hammond and Mr Evans said: "Claimants must get the money they’re entitled to following an injury in order to support their future needs.

“It is important that going forward, personal injury discount rates are set at a level that is fair to both claimants and consumers."

They said: “The Government will progress urgently with a consultation on the framework for setting future rates, and bring forward any necessary legislation at an early stage.

“The industry will contribute fully to the upcoming consultation, and the government will carefully consider all evidence and arguments submitted.”

Amazon US outage hits businesses

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is experiencing a major outage on the East Coast of America.

AWS is the server space that Amazon rents out to other companies. 

It is understood the issue has affected a number of internet services and media outlets.

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'Wine to Italy; Farage to America'

Boris Johnson
AFP

The Foreign Secretary has been speaking to business leaders  at the British Chambers of Commerce about UK export successes.

Boris Johnson lauded the sale of British cars worldwide, pineapple jam to America and (one of his favourites) boomerangs to Australia.

But special words were saved for the former UKIP-leader-turned-Donald-Trump-wingman.

"We do still export wine to Italy and, I’m delighted to say, Nigel Farage to America," Boris Johnson quipped.

Apple bangs the drum for the US

Tim Cook
Getty Images

What is going on at Apple?

The technology giant appears to be at pains to prove its commitment to US business. Is this in deference to President Trump's "America First" stance.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook told shareholders today that the company spent $50bn last year with US suppliers.

He said: "We're always looking for more ways to help our country. We know that Apple can only exist in the US."

Mr Cook was one of a number of US tech chiefs who spoke out against Mr Trump's immigration. He also met with the then president-elect last December, after which he said: "Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be. The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena."  

Green keeps promise to 'sort' BHS pension

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss
Reuters

Throughout, Sir Philip has promised to "sort", in his words, the BHS pension problem. Those close to him were confident he would make good on that and today he did improve the lot of the pensioners. 

He has not enjoyed the last three years one bit and has not said anything publicly today. 

Privately he says he wants to return to being a private businessman. In truth, he was never really that, he was not shy about living the high life quite publicly. 

According to the Sunday Times Rich List this sum represents just over 10% of his net worth. 

His reputation and his knighthood were probably worth that to him. Whether he can hang on to either is still not - in his words - "sorted".

Read Simon's blog.  

Hammond may switch Bank inflation measure

Philip Hammond
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The Chancellor may use next week's Budget to announce a change to the measure of inflation that the Bank of England uses for its 2% target. 

Investment bank Goldman Sachs is claiming that Philip Hammond will switch to a figure that includes housing costs.

CPIH - the consumer prices index plus owner-occupiers’ housing costs - will become the Office for National Statistic's preferred measure from 21 March.

Goldman Sachs economist Andrew Benito, who previously worked at the Bank of England, said in a note to clients that it was “more likely than not” that Mr Hammond would announce the change next week.

The Bank of England has used the CPI rate for its 2% since 2003 .

Mr Hammond will announce the Budget on 8 March.  

US markets want 'meat on the bones'

Dow Jones market trader
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America's leading stock index sunk lower on Tuesday , down 46.58 points at 20,790.86, as markets waited for US President Donald Trump to set out his budget proposal in his first address to Congress since taking office. 

Mr Trump has promised tax reform, investment in infrastructure and a rise in defence spending.

"What we're looking for tonight is just more meat on those bones," Mark Spellman, portfolio manager at Alpine Funds told Reuters.

"We've gotten these generalities and we're trying to figure out how things are going to be constructed."

BHS settlement is 'peanuts' to Sir Philip

Rebecca Long-Bailey
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Labour's Shadow Business Secretary is no so enamoured with the Pension Regulator's £363m pension settlement with Sir Philip Green.

Rebecca Long-Bailey said: "The 20,000 members of BHS's troubled pension scheme will no doubt be relieved to see almost a year of uncertainty come one step closer to resolution. But this deal falls far short of justice being done.

"The £363 million contribution - a capitulation to months of pressure, despite his claim that it is voluntary - is peanuts to billionaire Sir Philip, yet will leave an outstanding hole of £200m in the pension scheme." 

BHS: a good deal for pensioners?

BHS
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Former BHS employee Lin Macmillan, who set up the Sell the yachts, pay the pensions" campaign after the department store chain collapsed, said she was cautiously optimistic about today's pension settlement.

She said "We are pleased that after many months resolution has been reached, although it does appear that BHS pensioners will not be quite as well off as they might have been.  I would like to thank everyone who participated in and contributed to our campaign."

Engineering shares power ahead

GKN
GKN

The FTSE 100 closed 27.32 points higher at 7,280.32.

Engineering groups were the day's winners following a proposal by US President Donald Trump to increase military spending by 10% .

The risers were led by engineering support and outsourcing group Babcock International whose shares jumped 7.1% to 948.50p on promises to meet its full-year targets amid strong order intake. The company's biggest client is the US Ministry of Defence.

GKN's shares also ended strongly, up 4.9% at 359.90p. The engineering group said both its aerospace division and its automotive engineering Driveline power transmission business outperformed competitors last year and had won new business.

St James's Place was the biggest faller, down 3% at £10.55, after costs rose and the wealth manager said its chief executive David Bellamy would step down at the end of the year.

Starbucks now slates Italy launch for 2018

starbucks drinks
Getty

Starbucks boss, Howard Schultz, has been getting a lot of attention today after he told AP that Starbucks is at last planning to open an outlet in the home of fantastic coffee shops, Italy.

He made much of how he was originally inspired to start up the now ubiquitous chain at least in part by the coffee bars he visited in Milan 35 years ago. 

"I am so respectful of the Italian coffee heritage and the Italian culture, and I think we had to earn that respect, opportunity, and I think over the years we got to the point that we are now ready to come," he said.

He says the new outlet should be ready by early 2018.

On the other hand this time last year he said they'd be opening a Starbucks in Milan around now.

BHS pension deal: why so long?

Sir Philip Green
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Steve Webb, the former pensions minister who is now director of policy at insurer Royal London, said Sir Philip Green could have spared staff "many months of misery and uncertainty if he had stumped up the cash willingly, rather than only after many months of protracted negotiations". 

While Labour MP David Winnick, said: "The very fact that Green has made this offer is the result of parliamentary and public pressure.

"It is most unlikely it would have been the case otherwise. It will now be up to those who have been adversely affected, and their representatives, to decide on the offer."

Sir Philip 'finally put his hand in his pocket'

Tina Green (L) Philip Green (C) Chloe Green (R)
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Sir Philip Green with his wife Lady Green and daughter Chloe

Usdaw, the shop workers' trade union, cautiously welcomed the BHS pension settlement with Sir Philip Green .

General secretary John Hannett said: "We are pleased that Sir Philip has finally put his hand in his pocket, having promised to 'sort' the pension scheme last June. It is difficult to understand why this saga has been allowed to drag on for so long.

"Whilst the details are still not clear, we sincerely hope that this settlement does provide the BHS pensioners with a better deal than they would have got through the Pension Protection Fund."

He added: "Through no fault of their own, 11,000 loyal BHS staff lost their jobs after people at the top of the business seemingly played a wild game of monopoly with their livelihoods."

Good news and bad news

The pension settlement for former BHS staff is a positive outcome but Nathan Long, senior pension analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says there are still some challenges.

He said: "It appears members will have to elect to transfer to the new scheme to get the better benefits. Many will elect to do this, but the challenge is contacting all the former employees many of whom may have changed address and be hard to track down."

There are 19,000 members of the BHS pension schemes.

Mr Long adds: "Whilst this is a positive outcome for BHS Pension members who were otherwise headed into the PPF, there remains unanswered questions about the role of the Pension Regulator when it comes to mergers and acquisitions.’

BHS settlement helps right 'failure and greed'

BHS
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Iain Wright, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said: "The news that Sir Philip Green may be paying up to £363m is welcome and goes some way toward righting the failures and greed that we saw during the entire BHS saga.

"I'm pleased that the cross-party committees worked together and kept the pressure on Sir Philip Green for him to "sort it", as he promised. The 20,000 BHS pensioners should find themselves at least no worse off as a result of the collapse of this iconic British store.”

BHS deal provides relief for PPF

BHS
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BHS staff hug outside a store in Newport, Wales

The Pension Protection Fund, which provides a safety net for members of pension schemes when an employer goes bust, also commented on the BHS pension scheme settlement .

Chief executive Alan Rubenstein said: "This settlement for the BHS pension schemes, agreed between Sir Philip, the Pension Regulator (TPR) and the trustees, with the involvement of the PPF, relieves the PPF’s levy payers of the cost of meeting the initially reported shortfall."

He added: “TPR will be monitoring the new scheme and members will be protected by the PPF.”

US stocks down ahead of Trump speech

Donald Trump
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Traders appeared to take a wait and see approach to US stocks today as President Donald Trump prepared to give his first speech to Congress.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 6.63 points to 20,830. The Nasdaq fell 17.13 points to 5,844.77 and the S&P 500 edged 3.5 points lower at 2,366.18.

On Monday, Mr Trump said the Government would increase military spending by 10% as part of his budget for 2018.

The options for ex-BHS staff

Philip Green
PA

The Pension Regulator said today that BHS pension scheme members now have three options following the £363m settlement with former owner Sir Philip Green.

They can:

1) Transfer to the new independent pension scheme which will give them the same starting pension that was offered under the original BHS scheme. 

2) Opt to take a lump sum if they have a small pension pot of up to  £18,000 in total value.

3) Remain with their current scheme which is currently being assessed by the Pension Protection Fund.

The Pension Regulator said members will soon have access to a helpline to help them understand the options.

Frank Field 'welcomes' BHS settlement

BHS
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Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee and a vocal critic of former BHS owner Sir Philip Green, said: "I very much welcome this out-of-court settlement which is an important milestone in gaining the justice for BHS pensioners and former workers that we have been pushing for since beginning our inquiry into the downfall of BHS.”

BHS pensions 'on stable footing'

BHS
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The BHS pension trustees said today's deal with the company's former owner, Sir Philip Green, "gives members the opportunity to improve the benefits payable compared with the current Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levels of compensation".

Chris Martin, chair of the BHS pension trustees said: “The Pension Protection Fund has done an excellent job in providing a safety net for members, giving them certainty of pension income since the insolvency of BHS. We have however now reached a final deal which provides long-term certainty combined with the option of improved benefits for members."

He said: “The injection of cash from Sir Philip puts the new scheme on a stable footing. The trustees have carefully considered all aspects of the deal and we are confident that this is a robust scheme that delivers improved and sustainable benefits.

He added: "I want to thank Sir Philip, the Pensions Regulator and PPF for their efforts over the last year and am pleased that this agreement delivers for all members."

Sir Philip Green apologises to ex-BHS staff

Sir Philip Green
Getty Images

In a statement Sir Philip Green said: " The settlement follows lengthy, complex discussions with the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund, both of which are satisfied with the solution that has been offered. To achieve a significantly better outcome than entering the PPF, the contribution required to achieve this long-term solution was arrived at by the actuaries for both the regulator and the trustees."

He added: "Once again I would like to apologise to the BHS pensioners for this last year of uncertainty, which was clearly never the intention when the business was sold in March 2015.

"I am also happy to confirm that any of the pensioners that have faced cuts over the last year will now be brought back to their original BHS starting level pension and will all be made whole.

"I hope that this solution puts their minds at rest and closes this sorry chapter for them.”

BHS pension deal 'a strong outcome'

BHS
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Lesley Titcomb, chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, said: "The agreement we have reached with Sir Philip Green represents a strong outcome for the members of the BHS pension schemes. It takes account of the interests of both pensioners and the PPF, and brings a welcome level of certainty to present and future pensioners.

“Throughout our discussions with Sir Philip and his team, we have always been clear that we were determined to achieve the right outcome for members of the schemes both in terms of the amount and the structure of the settlement.”

Ex-BHS staff finally win certainty over pensions

BHS
Getty Images

Sir Philip Green has agreed to provide funding of up to £363m into a new independent pension scheme for the 19,000 members of BHS's two pension schemes.

The trustees of both BHS schemes have backed the arrangement and it means the Pensions Regulator has closed its enforcement action against Sir Philip. 

BreakingRegulator strikes deal with Philip Green over BHS pensions

The Pensions Regulator has agreed a cash settlement worth up to £363m with Sir Philip Green, ending a long-running row over the BHS pension scheme.

Time for a return to normal?

Donald Trump
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The US economy will continue to experience slow and steady economic growth, according to Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, helped by consumer spending.

Ms Curtin said: "Robust growth is paving the way for interest rate rises if employment and inflation remain on track.

"However, it is fiscal rather than monetary policy that is likely to be the star of the show in 2017. President Trump has promised a change in fiscal policy, with tax cuts likely to form a central pillar of his long-term plans. If successful, it could provide the fiscal boost needed to see economic growth move up a gear, supporting the case for further interest rate normalisation.”

Higher spending fails to lift US GDP

US shopper
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US GDP growth remained at 1.9% in the fourth quarter.

The second reading of America's economic output revealed that consumer spending rose at a faster rate between October and December.

However, expenditure by state and local government shrank as did business equipment purchases.

Growth for the year as a whole was 1.6%. US President Donald Trump has promised GDP will expand by 4% under his administration. 

Ryanair raises Frankfurt game

The low cost carrier is targeting "sexy" destinations

Ryanair plane
AFP

Ryanair is moving into Lufthansa's personal space in Frankfurt.

This summer the Irish carrier will - for the first time - be flying from the main airport in Frankfurt rather than Frankfurt-Hahn, the hub 75 miles away.

Ryanair says it's planning to offer 20 new routes from Frankfurt to "sexy" destinations across Europe next winter. So where's that exactly?

Apparently Rome, London and Madrid are floating Michael O'Leary's boat. Ryanair's adding flights to those cities as well as some sunnier destinations. 

And while he's there Ryanair's chief executive is sharing his views on Brexit. It's no secret that he thinks it's a bad idea. 

He says ministers in London "don't have an idea" when it comes to the changes to air travel rules it will entail adding "You can't re-regulate this industry" without causing massive disruption.

No dingy digs for Netflix

Technology correspondent Rory-Cellan Jones tweets from Barcelona, which is hosting the Mobile World Congress.

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Brexit is not protectionist - Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has denied that leaving the Single Market would be "the biggest single protectionist act in the UK's history" - a claim made by former chancellor George Osborne earlier.

The Foreign Secretary told the BCC conference the UK had a "great opportunity" to once again be the world's leading "agitator for free trade".

"It is our strong, strong view that a global Britain.... campaigning for a global open world, is the way forward," he said.

Harry Potter big in the Punjab

Boris Johnson says that on a recent visit to a school in the Punjab region of Pakiston he asked school children who their favourite author was.

Any guesses?

JK Rowling of course.

Nissan may have to 'adjust' business in the UK

Nissan Sunderland plant
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Nissan may have to "adjust" its operations in the UK, depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, senior vice-president Colin Lawther has told MPs.

Last October, the car giant said it would continue building certain models in Sunderland after receiving government assurances that Brexit would not affect its competitiveness.

But it has since said it would "re-evaluate" its position once Brexit was finalised. 

Echoing this, Mr Lawther told the House of Commons International Trade Committee: "At the moment we have got a set of circumstances we are happy with.

"But if anything materially changes, we would review constantly."

UK can be a 'great free trading nation again'

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
BBC

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is speaking at the BCC conference: He said: 

"We can be that great free trading nation again, and we can be ever more internationalist, indeed we can ever more European, but we can change our relationship with the EU from one of membership to one of friendship and partnership."